On Friday policymakers in Beijing laid out their economic blueprint for the coming year, highlighting measures that will try to balance reinvigorating growth while keeping economic risks at bay.
The annual Central Economic Work Conference concluded with agreements by China’s top leadership to give a stronger helping hand to boost domestic demand in 2019, through greater access to credit for local governments, and further tax cuts, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The headline growth target, although not defined at the meeting, will be within a reasonable range next year, according to an official statement. This may suggest that Beijing is reluctant to prop up growth through large stimulus packages, following the painful debt overhang that came after the financial crisis in 2008.
The meeting acknowledged a “complicated and grim external environment” brought on by a deepening trade war with the US that threatens to shave percentage points from China’s growth figure.
There was notably no mention of the administration’s ambitious ‘Made in China 2025’ industry investment plan. In recent weeks reports surfaced that the government was considering pushing back some aspects of the program, partly due to pressure from Washington.